Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa Triumph: From Semifinals Sensation to Championship Showdown

Political leaders from various parties expressed their congratulations to R Praggnanandhaa, the 18-year-old Indian Grandmaster, following his stunning victory over World Number 3 Fabiano Caruana in the semifinals of the Chess World Cup. This achievement marked Praggnanandhaa as the youngest ever to advance to the final of this prestigious tournament.

R Praggnanandhaa

Continuing his remarkable performance in the FIDE World Cup held in Baku, Azerbaijan, the young prodigy extended his dream run by outplaying US chess champion Fabiano Caruana with a nerve-wracking 3.5-2.5 victory in a tie-breaker match. Praggnanandhaa’s journey will now culminate in a face-off against Magnus Carlsen, the five-time title holder from Norway and the current World Number 1, in the championship clash.

Rahul Gandhi, a leader of the Congress party, conveyed his best wishes to Praggnanandhaa for his upcoming showdown against Magnus Carlsen, noting that the enthusiasm of over a billion Indians resonated with the young Grandmaster’s pursuit. Rahul Gandhi shared his sentiments on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating, “R Praggnanandhaa’s remarkable journey to the FIDE Chess World Cup finals deserves applause. I extend my heartfelt wishes for the title match against Magnus Carlsen. The cheers of more than a billion Indians are backing you.”

Hardeep Singh Puri, a Union Minister, celebrated Praggnanandhaa’s achievement as a proud moment for the nation, hailing the teenager’s record-breaking feat as the youngest finalist in the Chess World Cup. Puri tweeted, “India’s 18-year-old Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa scripts history! Emerging as the youngest player to enter the Chess World Cup final. Undoubtedly, a moment of immense pride for India. Congratulations wholeheartedly! Now, onward to the grand match.”

Tejasvi Surva, a prominent figure in the BJP, lauded Praggnanandhaa’s triumph and extended his best wishes for the final encounter. Surva expressed his admiration on X, “Heartfelt congratulations to Grand Master #Praggnanandhaa for securing a berth in the #FIDEWorldCup final. His stunning victory over world number 3 Fabiano Caruana in the tie-breakers sets the stage for a monumental showdown against Magnus Carlsen in the championship. All the best, Champ!”

Priyanka Gandhi, a leader of the Congress party, joined in the chorus of congratulations for the Indian Grandmaster and conveyed her well wishes for the imminent championship clash. She remarked, “Extending warm congratulations to R Praggnanandhaa for reaching the finals of the FIDE Chess World Cup. My best wishes for the upcoming major match.”

Viswanathan Anand, the esteemed chess legend and five-time world champion, showered Praggnanandhaa with praise and marveled at his exceptional form throughout the Chess World Cup. Anand expressed his awe on X, “Pragg secures his spot in the final! His victory over Fabiano Caruana in the tiebreak propels him to face Magnus Carlsen next. What an incredible performance!”

Before securing his place in the final match against Magnus Carlsen, Praggnanandhaa became the second Indian, after Viswanathan Anand, to advance to the semifinals of the FIDE World Cup chess tournament. At 18 years old, the Indian prodigy now stands as the third youngest player, following the footsteps of the legendary Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen, to qualify for the Candidates tournament.

In a pivotal turn, the top three achievers in the ongoing tournament will secure positions in the 2024 Candidates event, which will determine the contender to challenge the reigning world champion, Ding Liren of China.

Also Read: Shuffling the Roster

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